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 SRU theater department plans 'Brave New Plays' festival 




February 20, 2007

Contact: K.E. Schwab  




SRU theater department plans 'Brave New Plays' festival


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -  A six-day, "Brave New Plays" festival, featuring new works written by and featuring Slippery Rock University students along with two professional playwrights has been planned by the University's theater department. Eight new, solo, 10-minute plays will be part of the festival.

           The three-part, April 24-29 festival includes works by Boston playwright Andrew Clarke whose  "Vas Deferens" will be seen in "Hanging Ten" being premiered. Also slated are excerpts from Antonio Sacre's "Burning Feathers."

           Clarke is instructor of playwriting at Emerson College and has had his plays "Breakfast with Harvey" and "Work Makes One Free" produced in Boston. Sacre is an internationally touring writer, storyteller and solo performer now living in Los Angeles. He is author of 10 plays, six solo pieces and has performed at the New York International Fringe Festival.

           The April 24-25 festival productions are under the "Flying Solo" theme, which offers eight, solo plays, including Sacre's work. 

           The plays and authors are: 

           "Rise and Shine, Milwaukee!," by Deanna Brookens of Slippery Rock;

           "The Sower," by Matthew McNear of Beaver;

           "Peepers," by Stephanie Brauner of Palm;

           "Uncle Dom," by Mike Longello of Beaver Falls; 

           "Chop Suey," by Shannon Plesh of Pittsburgh;                

           "Sounds of a Wooden Microphone," by Justin Bell of Pulaski;

           "Good Ol' Jane," by Eric Blackstock of Monroeville; and

           "A New Breed" by Nicholas Adam Ciesielski of Bridgeville.


          April  26-27, "Hanging Ten," a work of nine, 10-minute plays, including the premiere of Clarke's play will be staged.  

          The plays and authors are:

          "You Just Can't Win," by Deanna Brookens of Slippery Rock;

          "Restoring the Pie and Swimming the Brook," by Samantha Lee of Oil City;

          "Last Chance," by Philip Stapinsky of Natrona Heights;

          "Sicko and Fetch Lost Balls," by Matthew McNear of Beaver;

          "Estee Lauder," by Stephanie Brauner of Palm; and 

          "Guy Speak," by Nicholas Adam Ciesielski of Bridgeville.


          Running April 28-29 will be "Grow The F%#& Up!!," featuring five solo plays written by David Skeele, theater department resident playwright and SRU professor of theater. Skeele will act in several of the works alongside Laura Smiley, assistant professor of theater and a guest artist.

          The plays are "Your Voice," "Becky and the Magic Harp," "Not a Funeral," "The Other Woman," and "Real This Time." He will take the plays to Pittsburgh for one 8 p.m. performance at the Gemini Theater May 1.

          SRU's festival began 14 years ago as a small, student-run event presented in the University's Sheehy Theater. After early success, the festival moved to the Miller stage in 2005.

          Skeele said, "Giving our student plays that kind of technical support was great for the playwrights. We had such a wonderful experience and learned so much, we decided to do it again. Our eventual goal is to make this the most exciting collegiate new-play festival in the country. This year's festival is a huge step. This is the best collection of works we've had. We can't wait to share it with everyone."

          The festival will offer portions of Skeele's original play of supernatural horror, "Dark North," which received rave reviews last summer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.  

          Gordon R. Phetteplace, theater department chair and associate professor, is designing the primary play space. Rebecca Morrice, assistant professor of theater, will handle costume design for some works.

          Michelle Rimmer of Hershey is the festival's stage manager.

          Tickets are $3 for SRU students with ID; $5 general admission for the Miller Auditorium performances set for 8 p.m. weekdays and 2 p.m. on Aug. 29. Tickets are available by phone reservation at the Miller Auditorium Box Office, 724.738.2645, or may be picked up between 12:15 and 1:30 p.m. weekdays.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.


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